Since 1917, Forbes has been synonymous with smart business, and Forbes.com has carried that same brand recognition online. We were brought in to take Forbes.com’s Advertising Operations to the next level: first, by identifying areas of opportunity to eliminate waste and improve accuracy. Second, by streamlining processes that would make it easier for advertisers to do business with Forbes.
Since the company’s advertising operations, sales and finance teams are all closely tied together; we gathered an integrated team from all three areas of the business for two intensive process transformation workshops. Improving the communication and workflow between all three entities was critical to the future success of the entire program. The team uncovered several ways that process friction could be eliminated.
Detailed process mapping showed that the sales and operations teams needed to be better aligned around the needs of the customer. Sales teams needed an ordering process that was more detailed, and also a more effective way to enter each request. The advertising team could then use more detailed customer information from sales to deliver creative, more personalized advertising solutions to customers. The old, existing electronic ordering tool was updated with a new format that improved processing speed and reduced order input errors. In addition, the new format also allowed more customer information to be gathered upfront – the end result being a better quality experience, delivered more quickly.
In addition to the improved quality and speed of the new advertising insertion order flow, the updated process also reduced the number of steps to completion by 62 percent. Customer satisfaction has increased, resulting in more loyal, long-term advertising partners. The sales team was happy because their orders were processed more accurately, the ad operations team was happy because they had more time to spend on advertising, and customers were happy because the entire experience was centered around them.